01 Feb

Daily Watch – Taxation fuelling Lagos wealth exodus, Air Peace arrives Kano and Yola

  • The latest Global Wealth Migration review says rich people are leaving Lagos for other cities because of increased taxation. According to the report, some of the reasons high net worth people are leaving their locations are taxes and increasing crime rates. The other top cities affected include London, Mumbai and Istanbul. According to the report, 1000 wealthy people left Lagos in 2017 and there were no inflows. Auckland, Dubai, Montreal and Toronto recorded the largest inflow of rich people across the world. New World Wealth said it only focused on high net worth individuals who truly moved — that is, those who stay in their new country for more than half the year. The report defines high net worth people as those with net assets worth $1 million or more. According to the report, the total private wealth in the world is $215 trillion. There are 15.2 million high net worth people in the world. In 2017, the ministry of finance in collaboration with the Federal Inland Service launched programmes including the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme to increase tax compliance. The tax amnesty window will close in March.
  • An administrative panel has recommended the sacking of the suspended SEC Director-General, Mounir Gwarzo over corruption allegations levelled against him. The panel, set up in November by finance minister Kemi Adeosun, and headed by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse suggested that the Gwarzo should refund the sum of ₦104.85 million, which he allegedly approved and received as a severance package while at the helm of the regulator. The panel also recommended the referral of Gwarzo’s case to the ICPC to further investigate whether he used his position as SEC DG to influence the award of contracts to Outbound Investments. In the report, which the Punch says has already been submitted to Adeosun, it was recommended that Gwarzo’s appointment as SEC boss, while a director in two private companies (Medusa Investment and Outbound Investments) was in breach of Public Service Rules 030424 and 030402, as well as Section 6 of the Investment and Securities Act.
  • Yemi Kale, Nigeria’s statistician-general said the NBS has no data to substantiate recent claims by labour and productivity minister Chris Ngige that the country has created seven million jobs through its empowerment programmes. The data chief told a prominent online journalist in an interview which has been widely circulated online that “We don’t have the data anyway, that data of is 6 or 7 million, we don’t have that. I can’t comment on what other data users or data producers say but I can comment on what we produce here as the official source of data. We have not produced any data on job creation, we produced data on people that were unemployed at the particular time and that is what we are sticking to. We don’t do politics at the NBS, the National Bureau of Statistics is the official source of data. Our law does not allow us to be countered. The law says very clearly that NBS is the official source of Nigerian data.”
  • Air Peace has announced plans to inaugurate Kano and Yola services in February as part of an ambitious route expansion programme. The services, the airline said, would commence on the 12th and 15th, respectively, would cover Lagos-Kano-Lagos, Kano-Abuja-Kano, Lagos-Yola-Lagos and Abuja-Yola-Abuja. The carrier had also fixed 19 February for the commencement of services from Lagos to Freetown, Banjul and Dakar. “With the addition of Kano and Yola, the airline will be launching five new routes in February alone. We also plan to start flights to Dubai, London, Guangzhou-China, Houston, Mumbai and Johannesburg this year. The Lagos to Kano flight will be operated both morning and evening,” the airline’s Corporate Communications Manager, Chris Iwarah said. He added that the new routes were a confirmation of the seriousness of the airline’s pledge to connect many domestic, regional and international destinations this year and make air travel seamless.